Han Ki-joo

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Han.
Han Ki-Joo
Kia Tigers – No. --
Relief pitcher
Born: (1987-04-29) April 29, 1987 (age 29)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
KBO debut
April 9, 2006, for the Kia Tigers
KBO statistics
(through 2015)
Win–loss record 21-25
Saves 70
Earned run average 3.00
Strikeouts 253
Career highlights and awards
Olympic medal record
Representing  South Korea
Men's baseball
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing Team

Han Ki-Joo (Hangul: 한기주, Hanja: 韓基周) (born April 29, 1987 in Gwangju, South Korea) is a right-handed relief pitcher who plays for the Kia Tigers of the KBO League.

Amateur career[edit]

Han attended Dongsung High School in Gwangju, South Korea. In 2004, he was selected for the South Korea national junior team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 World Junior Baseball Championship in Taiwan. Han, the youngest player on the South Korean team roster, pitched 7 shutout innings, struck out 12, and allowed only 3 hits to win over Australia in the round-robin.

In 2005, he was selected for the national junior team again, along with Kim Kwang-Hyun and Ryu Hyun-Jin, and participated in the 6th Asian Junior Baseball Championship held in Seoul, South Korea. However, his performance was very disappointing, pitching to a 6.28 ERA in 3 games (1 start).

Notable international careers[edit]

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
2004  Chinese Taipei World Junior Baseball Championship Bronze medal icon.svg 1.59 ERA, SO title
2005  South Korea Asian Junior Baseball Championship Silver medal icon.svg 6.28 ERA

Professional career[edit]

Han debuted with the 2006 Kia Tigers and finished with 11-10, a 3.26 ERA, and 78 strikeouts in 44 games. As a rookie starter, he had a fine season, but his stats were underrated by the ones of Ryu Hyun-Jin who became the only player in KBO history to win both the Rookie of The Year award and the MVP award in the same season.

After the season, Han made a transition to the bullpen, filling a void as Kia's closer down the stretch.

Han had his best KBO season as a closer in 2008 when he was ranked third in the league with 26 saves, posting a 1.71 ERA. He was regarded as an unreliable closer, however, as he didn't overwhelm hitters. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics Baseball tournament in August 2008, Han earned the unfortunate notoriety of being a "choker", "suspense writer", and subject to many other unflattering nicknames due to his failure to close out games in the late innings. Usually a solid closer for his Pro team, Han blew the lead in the 9th inning of the game against the United States, then proceeded to make things interesting once again against Japan a few days later before being yanked with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Han was given yet another chance against Chinese Taipei, which he also subsequently failed to close. Fortunately for Han, Korea won all of the aforementioned games en route to winning the gold medal with a perfect record, although Han was not given the chance to pitch again in the tournament after the game against Chinese Taipei.

In May 2009, after blowing four saves within one month with a 6.08 ERA, Han was demoted from his role as Tigers closer, losing the job to Yoon Suk-Min. After finishing the 2009 season with a record of 4-5 and an ERA of 4.24 as a setup man, he required Tommy John surgery and subsequently missed most of the 2010 season.

He suffered injury in 2011, 2012. He just played 28 innings for 2 years. In 2013, he surgery shoulder and rehabilitation 2 years.

Notable international careers[edit]

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
2007  Chinese Taipei Asian Baseball Championship Silver medal icon.svg
2008  Chinese Taipei Final Olympic Qualification Tournament Silver medal icon.svg
2008  China Olympic Games Gold medal icon.svg 1-0; 19.29 ERA (3 G, 2.1 IP, 5 ER)